Business Continuity for Corporations

Throughout the world people are becoming more reliant on technology both at work and at home, reports claim that there is enough information consumed by the Internet everyday to fill 168 million DVDs.

By 2013 there is expected to be more than 500 billion e-mail messages sent each day, that’s almost 6 million e-mail messages every second! Chequebooks are rare sight nowadays, this is the age of online banking.

Most of us take for granted the technologies that support our daily lives. The challenge for corporations is to maintain services and to be prepared for major incidents whether this be a utilities failure or an even more catastrophic natural or technological disaster. In recent years Asia has seen the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak which stress tested Singapore’s emergency services in 2003.

More recently there has been the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which is said to be the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Whilst it would be almost impossible to have a business continuity plan that could overcome the effects of such major incidents, corporations that have a business continuity capability are far more likely to survive the effects of a major incident than those that don’t.

Business continuity comprises of standards policies and guidelines and procedures needed to ensure that the corporation can continue without stoppage, irrespective of any adverse circumstances or events. This is seen increasingly nowadays where corporations co-locate their critical Information Technology (IT) systems remotely in purpose built data centres, and these are often replicated at an alternative location with sufficient geographic separation to overcome the effects of any perceived adverse event. A key element of business continuity is to identify the risks, effective business continuity planning needs to consider all risks and one element of this is the design of building services infrastructure.

hurleypalmerflatt’s engineers commonly find themselves working alongside business continuity managers when conceptualising building services design for projects. As engineers we work with our clients to establish the criticality of a site, identify the risks which pose a threat to the business and decide how these can be overcome. Sometimes risks can be overcome through design, but in some cases an alternative real estate strategy such as an alternative recovery site is the only solution.

A high percentage of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months. hurleypalmerflatt can help you understand more about how you can protect your business from failure.